Friday, 17 June 2011

Privé to the secret

In my former job, when I had hair products coming out of my ears (sometimes literally, if I was absentmindedly spritzing at the desk) it was easy to get a bit 'blah' about a new range. Flashes of brilliance aside, there is alot of mediocre stuff out there. I suppose the same can be said of restaurants, hotels and men - but I won't go into that today...

Privé is one such of those fabulous flashes. The range of 26 products (styling and care) is formulated with herbal blends, giving each product a gorgeous and grown-up fragrance. In fact, it's not just the fragrance that is grown-up (I'm sorry, but who wants to smell like a chocolate cupcake after their 14th birthday?), the whole range has an air of earthy sophistication about it; from the simple packaging that is refillable, reuseable and/or recyclable, to the certified organic ingredients used in some of the lines. It's like a summer in Provence in haircare form.

Perhaps, this is what inspired French-born session stylist Laurent Dufourg, when he created this little oasis of herby haircare to use on the celebrity clients that visit his five US salons (that span coast to coast, from NY to LA). Or perhaps he just wanted some products that worked. Because the best thing about this range is that it actually does.

I've used up the Daily Shampoo & Conditioner - my hair looked shinier and was easier to manage the whole time. My favourite product though, is the Finishing Texture Spray. It's weightless, non-sticky and creates a gorgeous texture with just a spritz and scrunch - I know lots of mediocre imitators that promise all of this but, in my opinion, fail on every count. Each of the products I used has an rrp of £12-14.

Privé has been a stateside secret for 10 years, but now it's here *small (but sophisticated) yippee*. The Urban Retreat in Harrods stocks the range and it's available to buy online here. The products can only be bought from salons and, as it's new to UK shores, it might be a while before a salon near you stocks it, however you can find your nearest by calling 01372 824701. 


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sassoon, the '60s and the silver screen

(Errr hello, remember me? It's Louise, the girl who started a blog and then didn't post anything for a month. Big fat fail on the blog front, I know. Back now though, and determined that pesky (but necessary) paid-for work will not get in the way of blogging!)

Whenever my mum recalls her tales of growing up in the '60s I have to admit that it sounds quite alot better than the decade of my formative years (the '80s). Some comparisons for you:

Mum's first concert:
The Beatles at Wimbledon Palais 1963 (I admit that the link probably doesn't do it justice but I thought it would be nice to see)

My first concert:
Five Star at Wembley (note: No one even bothered to record this for posterity)

Mum's teenage shopping experience:

My teenage shopping experience:
Two rails of 'teen range' clothes at the Topshop in Sutton

Mum's teenage haircuts:
The very first Toni&Guy in Streatham where she was a client of Toni himself (to this day she cannot walk past a T&G without mentioning this fact)

My teenage haircuts:
Dappers, a salon next to the newsagents at the end of my parents' road.

It's not hard to see why I've spent a great deal of time thinking that the '60s were rather special...

Vidal Sassoon The Movie only confirms this fact. I was lucky enough to see a preview of this fabulous docu-film two weeks ago (better bloggers would have posted immediately, I know!) and more than ever I feel we've missed out on possibly the most exciting decade ever!

In the most basic sense, the film charts the life of superhero hairdresser Vidal Sassoon. A man, should you not know (where have you beeeeen?), who changed the way women would wear their hair forever when he opened his salon in Bond Street in 1954. Inspired by the clean lines of modern architecture, he eschewed the shampoo and set for geometric haircuts that women could wash and style themselves at home. Indeed if it wasn't for this man, we'd have all spent most of our Saturday afternoons to date stuck under a hood dryer.

In the greater sense, for me at least, it just confirmed how wonderful and exciting the '60s really were and that my mum wasn't fibbing. Although Vidal opened Bond Street in '54, he didn't hit the haircut jackpot, so to speak, until 1964 when he gave Grace Coddington (yes, the very one at US Vogue) the 5-point bob and that's when the Sassoon revolution truly begins. Seeing the part a hairdresser played in the cultural shift of the decade is amazing. Add in an interview between Vidal and Mary Quant and I was fascinated and super envious that I wasn't there (oh the parties!) at the same time. It really was a time of enormous change in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, and it left me wondering if we'd really seen anything quite so radical or special since.

The rest of the film is equally brilliant - whether it's his early East End days or his more recent life in the US and the huge media success he found there. It's all incredibly interesting and inspiring even if you're not that interested in hairdressing. At the very least it will probably make you take up yoga - now in his 80s Vidal shows in the film that he is still very bendy (not to mention fit, stylish, chic and, dare I say for a man of his years, dashingly handsome)!

My advice would be to get and see it quick sharp. It's showing at selected cinemas thoughout the rest of May and into June, all the dates and times are on the website link above.

If you love the film, I'd try his autobiography too. Maybe for the more fanatical fan (that'll be me then...) but a great read with lots of famous name dropping.

You owe this man a life's worth of Saturdays ladies, see the film and see why.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Oh My Blog!

Hello! Welcome to Wide Eyes & Blow-Dries.

Spring is all about new life and this is mine! Well, a part of it anyway. A few weeks ago I was a magazine editor and now I'm a footloose and fancy freelancer and, it would seem, blogger. I'm learning 'on the job' so to speak (as err, technically, I don't have a job!), so don't expect an all-singing, all-dancing effort straight away, but I am learning...

Basically this blog will be about the things I love; stuff and people that excite me, brilliant things to buy, use and see. Lots of the time it will be about hair and hairdressing as that's what I know best.

To kick things off I thought I’d share a picture – the apple blossom tree in my garden (aka the view from my new ‘office’). It’s the living proof of Spring and all its promises, and it beats forlornly gazing at the Old Street roundabout (as I was a few weeks ago) hands down.

I can't promise this blog will be topical, witty, useful, or even updated that much - but I will do my very best. Always better to under promise and over deliver... Oh my blog! It's actually rather exciting!